PMO’s and Project Portfolio Management

Insights | 16 November 2012

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) of an organisation can be one of the most challenging aspects of project management, often this is because the skills a PMO uses to improve process and capability may differ to those needed to work with the senior executive. One of the most valuable services a PMO can provide is Project Portfolio Management. This can be one of the most challenging undertakings of a PMO, mainly because of the belief that success can only be achieved when senior executives buy in and adopt these practices. This means that projects are chosen not based on individual business unit needs, but prioritized based on the value that they will deliver to the organisational strategy. It is this level of wide, whole business planning that separates the successful businesses during a time of limited resources and increased pressures to change.

In regards to this, surveyed businesses reported issues with three major aspects of project portfolio management:

  1. Business support for project prioritisation
  2. Business unit focus instead of enterprise focus
  3. Organisational culture

It can be seen through the results of this survey that businesses have a very common problem, organisational culture preventing effective prioritisation of their projects and execution of strategy. This is the result of executives either intentionally or passively the portfolio initiative, as they are often assessed on achievement of pre-defined goals as opposed to improving the business as a whole.

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